Saturday, March 14, 2009

This Hatred Of Mine Is A New Kind Of Motivation

click for enlarged view

This isn't the tackiest record in my collection (I still own a Jesse Malin CD, after all), but it's also not one I'd be taking out if visitors were over, unless they were from 1-800-DUMP-RUNS or something. Still, I raised a flag a week ago saying that I'd be posting the first Buck Pets LP soon, so here it is.

I first got this as an advance cassette back in the 80's, though I don't think the label actually sent it to me; most likely I fished it out of the free bin at Brass City Records, amid all the leftover Keel and Saxon tapes. At that particular time, finding something on a major label that sounded even remotely underground-- in this case, a second-rate Soul Asylum, at a time when copying Soul Asylum wasn't quite the horrible idea that it would be now-- was much more of a novelty, which possibly explains why I really dug this album for about a month or so, to the point of even including some Buck Pets songs on tapes I would make for my punk rock friends who all probably wanted to kill me.

So what do we have here? Well, the front cover is awesome, if you like laughing at stupid things in hindsight; the band looks all properly mussed-up in their pre-grunge Charles Peterson photography, and you can guess that Mr. Louie Lips with the eyebrows thinks he's the cute one in the band. As for the grooves themselves, "A Little Murder" is about the only song now that stands out among the borrowed Soul Asylum moves, mostly because it's borrowed Goo Goo Dolls (were these guys ahead of their time when it comes to stealing, or what?). I guess I should stop acting so harsh, because this is still a pretty good album if all you're interested in is rocking out, and, like the kid in the Condo Fucks video, isn't that basically all we really wanna do anyway-- just rock the fuck out? Yes, I thought so.

I bought one other Buck Pets album after this; don't ask me to remember which one, though, because it had only one good song on it and I think I've been using it to hold up a table leg or something.

click for enlarged view

The Buck Pets -

"Iron Cock"

"Good Day"

"More and More"

"A Little Murder"

(these files are now listen-only)

click for enlarged view


Anonymous said...

1000% Monsterland endorsed! we love this record. I know at the time - this made us lame for liking a major label band - but we also liked major label bands like RAMONES and DEVO too. this record (and only this record of theirs) rocks. totally spot on with the Soul Asylum knock-off comment. THom and I saw these guys kill it at Nightshift Cafe (with Condo Fucks?haha) ans was really awesome. hard to find on CD or LP - good luck.

Anonymous said...

oops - THat was from me Greg Vegas btw.

Brushback said...

You know, I've been wracking my brain trying to remember if I ever saw these guys back then... something makes me think they played the Anthrax, but I'm probably mistaken.

Of course, by "major label" here I'm talking specifically '88-'89, when you didn't see a lot of non-hair metal, punkish rock bands on major labels. Husker Du had broken up by then... I'm thinking Soul Asylum and The Replacements were on majors in those years, and maybe the Del Fuegos... who else?

Jere said...

As usual with me, here comes a boatload of coincidences. I saw Screaming Females last night, and came here to report back as I'd promised earlier. At the show, I totally spotted Ryan Doyon, former Danbury/XCI type guy who probably wouldn't remember me. Today, just to attempt to verify it was him, I looked him up, saw one of his social networking pages, and while the pic was too small, I knew it was him because one of his friends listed was...Greg Vegas! And it said he lived in Cambridge, which is where the show was, so that was him last night.

So, Screaming Females really "wowed" both me and my girlfriend, and we're both the type who feels "today's" music kinda stinks for the most part. So that's good. That lead singer/guitarist is really talented and I like how her screams kind of blend in to her regular singing. And the bass player was good enough to to warrant a mention here.

By the way, the Buck Pets were an opening band for one of the first shows I went to when I was in college, and years later I saw their record in NYC so I picked it up, I think mainly because it was from a radio station, and had all this writing on it. I just whipped the thing out. Album is called "Mercurotones." Here's what the radio station person wrote:

"WRHO...Definitely influenced by Sub-Pop...metallic and crunchy with a stong consistent rhythmic pulse...very clean production, but still has a raw edge...touring with Jane's Addiction...Good for metal shows!! And all shows"

Anonymous said...

Ryan is a good dude. a great WXCI dj!!
and as for music kinda stinking these days. the problem is 2 things.
1)indie rock has become "milque-toast as someone said to me recently. "indie" is so mainstream - and so safe these days- its pretty souless.
2) the folk scourge of the 00's MUST END!!! Christ I just heard some idiots singing John Denver on a stoop hear in Brooklyn!!! knock it off !!!!
we need more DANGER in rock - like bands who smoke cigarettes and wear leather pants. or guys like JAy Reatard who can write a fast pop-punk tune and will punch kids in the face. or FUCKED UP - who are just frightening loud , fat and good! even the smelly Blues-rock-psych 70's rock revival of bands like GRAVEYARD (who wear leatherpants), or WITCH get me chuggin more beer nd smilin.
my new favs in this genre PAPER (from Stockholm).
Dave has turned me on to some great local new CT bands here - which is why I always come back (besides liking to read about myself).

Brushback said...

"The folk scourge of the 00's MUST END!!!" Ha Ha

This reminds me of something that I saw paraphrased on Chunklet (where it was also paraphrased) - "I didn't spend years in the punk rock trenches so that shit like Joanna Newsom would become popular!"

And about "indie" being the new mainstream, I agree with that point, too. It just means that you gotta dig deeper to get your kicks these days. The stuff that's being pushed as "indie" nowadays is just as tame as the Easy Listening crap that we were all running away from when we first got into underground music in the first place.

Sean, Screaming Females, I dunno. I heard a copy of "Power Move" (or whatever their upcoming CD is called) a month ago, and it didn't really thrill me. One of my friends for a long time (Jim Testa) is really into them, though. They're playing in New Haven in about a week (thanks to The Needle Drop), but I doubt I'll go. I'm sure they're a different story live, but I'm not sure I'm motivated enough to find out.

The label that they're on, Don Giovanni, has put out some of my favorite records, though.

Jere said...

All I can say is, when I listened to Screaming Females online, I pretty quickly shut it off. But seeing them live made me a convert.

I guess the good thing about a lot of crappiness around is that you appreciate the good that much more.

In an ironic twist to this whole thing, Joanna Newsom is one of the few current acts that I do like.

Brushback said...

Yeah, I know more than a couple of blog people who're really high on Screaming Females, so I'm sorta in the minority on that end.

Bruce/TOTAL DICK said...

Looks like you've got all the bases covered...carry on!

Brushback said...

You're not getting away that easily, Bruce - after all, it was your comment a week ago ("BuckPets? Huzzah! I'd be just as wary to hear how "A little murder" held up in this millennium as I would THE BEST KISSERS IN THE WORLD!") that had a role in this whole thing...

Brushback said...

Oh, man - I just found this Buck Pets piece written a month ago by a guy for the Dallas Observer, and it's such a pile of crap that it's almost art:

"They were loud, rude, bratty and obnoxious. They smoked pot, drank lots of beer, did drugs and slept in their clothes. If you were a guy who hung out at Theatre Gallery during the late '80s, chances are pretty good that one (or more) of them fucked your girlfriend.

When the Buck Pets' eponymous debut album was released on Island Records in 1987
(actually, it was 1989), your girl started making some plans of her own. She saw that album cover and decided she wanted a piece of that action for herself.

Men my age put that record on the turntable and practically jumped out of our skin, wondering how these four kids from north of I-635 could shred shit so poetic... The Buck Pets' first record was the perfect subversive underground rock 'n' roll album for the moment.

"More and More" was one of those songs that just send chills up your spine. Two minutes of sheer rock upheaval. A wave of chaos, lead singer Andy Thompson above the fray, asking, "What's the price for your slice of life?" This shit was heavy--both massive and introspective at the same time. Savage's guitar solo was a writhing atonal wall of noise, the black Gibson Les Paul screaming through an old Marshall half-stack like a damaged F16 scorching the desert sky. His simple, repetitive, melodic figure during the bridge wavers on a teetering high wire above the rest of the band; the wall of sonic anarchy that follows perfectly simulates the effect of biting down on tin foil. When Thompson comes back to finish the lyrics for the third verse, Savage's harmonic squall line of feedback just swims around oblivious to the other instruments.

It's fucking beautiful.

So little rock 'n' roll manages to articulate revelation or personal discovery in a way that is anything other than blatantly emo. But this shit is different. The song is pure genius. After hearing it, you realize that you've been holding your breath the whole time. It's that dramatic and concise; brutal, yet beautiful. That's what life is all about, isn't it? How you'll make your dreams come true?"

I'm almost laughing at the guy for leading off his story with the old "they came to town and had sex with your girlfriends" cliche.

Bruce said...

"they came to town and had sex with your girlfriends" the Pac-Men?!?

having not heard "a little murder" since my metabolism slowed down and my temples went grey (though my boy-ish charm remains)...I can honestly say that as a radio friendly hook driven "alt-rock" holds up alright.

There were so many "okay-to-decent" bands like this that got snatched up by the majors in the 90's...and then tossed aside just as quick. Hell, I seem to recall that just about EVERY band in Danbury got a call from Hollywood Records!

It was going to be, after all, "the next Seattle!".

Brushback said...

Hollywood Records, as in Into Another and Glenn Danzig? Wow! Now that's the kind of inside "scene" dirt I'm looking for!

scott said...

The Creature Did Gang loved this album. I think we even practiced a cover of Iron Cock but never played it at a show.

I saw them twice: opening for Jane's Addiction at Toad's and then in Northampton MA a couple years later. At the Northampton show they brought a cooler of beer out onto the stage and started handing them out to the crowd. Mori and I were underage so we got kicked out and had to the watch the rest of the show through the window. And that, my friends, is rock n' roll. Or at least felt like it at 19 yrs. old

Brushback said...

Doesn't figure, with all the shit that gets said around here about Nirvana, and the one band that Creature Did comes in to defend is... The Buck Pets!

(Nice to hear from you by the way, Scott. Thanks for dropping by, really.)

Okay, you guys forced it out of me-- I like the first Buck Pets album. (Didn't I already admit that?) Not as much as the guy from the Dallas Observer, though. "Best band this town's ever seen"? "The perfect subversive underground rock 'n' roll album for the moment"? His greatest band of all time is an exact replica of Soul Asylum, with even worse lyrics!

I mean, if the first Buck Pets LP is godhead, where would this guy rate "Hang Time"?

Brushback said...

Gee, for "the perfect underground rock album", these uploads didn't seem to be very popular, at least compared to every other band that I post on here.

Anyway, the mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. They've been moved to my Vox account (accesible through any of the above listen-only links) along with one other song that I ripped but didn't include in the original post. I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files.

Rob said...

That piece is real interesting. Calling the Buck Pets a low rent Soul Asylum is like Frank Sinatra was a low rent Englebert Humperdinck. Did you listen to either of those albums? You spent enough time complimenting the first one, I couldn't figure out why you were making fun of it. I'm supposed to buy that "Mercurotones" (Yeah, tough name to remember, I know. Maybe if your brain wasn't so clogged with classics like "Runaway Train" you might have been able to pull that off.) had ONE good song on it? Try "PM", "Some Hesitation"? Or did you just give "Pearls" a cursory listen and bury the rest of the record under a pile with Soundgarden and Tad? Funny you didn't even bother to listen to "To the Quick"

Weak Sauce, Man.

Rob Will, "Last Will and Testament"

Brushback said...

Funny how whenever I post a sucky band around here (Those Melvins being another one), some doofus has to come flying in, armed with a whole bunch of blanket assumptions. It's like getting into an argument with a Pixies or Smashing Pumpkins fan. People who like good bands are a bit more rational, I guess.

First of all, Rob, I still own a copy of "To The Quick", and it sucks.

I never listened to Tad. Wasn't big on Soundgarden, either. Not my scene, sorry.

Anyone without a set of wooden ears can tell the similarities between the Buck Pets and Soul Asylum. I would even say that their sound is almost a direct copy. And I'm not talking "Runaway Train" Soul Asylum (like you suggested), by the way. Long before their Modern Rock radio hits, Soul Asylum put out some really good albums on Twin/Tone in the earlier part of the '80s-- if you haven't heard them then dig around, you might like them.

Rob said...

Doofus? Thanks, I'm not gonna follow you into name-calling territory, and you yourself began slinging blanket assumptions before I did.

Alright, already. The comparison to Soul Asylum, I don't care what you say is not close. "Runaway Train" or preceeding. Second of all, accusing them of copying the Goo Goo Dolls as you have is even more ridiculous. When the Buck Pets did "A Little Murder", GGD was still doing straightforward hardcore on Metal Blade.

"To the Quick" sucks? Please.

I can see from you listing of favorite bands that anything in the Buck Pets wheelhouse is going to be disliked by you anyway.

Smashing Pumpkins fan? Billy Corrigan is like listening to a machine that lost a gear, don't group me in with that lot.

As far as the Observer piece, did you get beyond what was the intro? It's an oral history, or did that article end up in your increasingly large pile of things using to hold up unbalanced furniture in your house?

Rob, "Last Will"

Brushback said...

Hmmm... calling early Goo Goo Dolls "straight forward hardcore" is a bit of a puzzler, but I'm just gonna chalk that up to perspective, especially since you actually started to make some sense this time.

The Observer article is terrible, regardless of what band it's written about. The guy writes like shit. The quotes at the bottom are alright, sure, but that's not the stuff he wrote.

I'm not in anyone's face or getting paid to write any of this. I'm in my own little obscure, unwatched corner of the internet. I reserve the right to make "blanket assumptions" on my own friggin' blog, even if they're only imagined.

Anonymous said...

That the Buck Pets were HEAVILY influenced by Soul Asylum was the opinion of most who say them in the late-80s. I can't speak to whether or not this was a coincidence, but that this was the reckoning of MANY is beyond dispute.

At a minimum one surely strongly brought the other to mind.

Soul Asylum '87:

Buck Pets '87: